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Biosorbents for Medicine


Development of New Medicines and Prophylactic Means on the Basis of Sorbent from Plants to Protect Human's and Animal's Health from Adverse Environmental Effects

Tech Area / Field

  • MED-OTH/Other/Medicine
  • AGR-FOD/Food & Nutrition/Agriculture

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
B.I. Stepanov Institute of Physics, Belarus, Minsk

Supporting institutes

  • S.N. Vyshelessky Research Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Belarus, Minsk reg., Kuntsevshchina


  • University of Illinois, USA, IL, Chicago\nKorea Institute of Science and Technology / Medicinal Chemistry Research Center, Korea, Seoul\nFriedrich-Schiller-Universitat / Institut fur Ernahrungswissenschaften, Germany, Jena\nInstitut fur Tierarzneimittel Berlin GmbH, Germany, Berlin

Project summary

The present technogenic environmental contamination, especially chemical and radioactive ones call for new effective methods for eliminating ecotoxicants from the environment as well from the organism of humans and animals (Trace Elements in Man and Animals - TEMA 8”, Editors: M. Anke, D. Meissner & C. F. Mills. Verlag Media Touristik, 1993). The leading role in solving this problem is played by sorbents of various nature. The existing technologies permit obtaining a wide range of materials, of both synthetic and natural origin, which exhibit sorption and ion-exchange properties (Sorbents and their Clinical Applications. New York, 1980). Nevertheless, the development of new, cheaper and more effective sorbents with a wider spectrum of action to expand the market of these materials is an urgent problem of today.

To solve this problem, a new perspective sorbent of plant origin whose distinguishing feature is the presence in it of natural pigment, melanin, has been obtained.

As a result of many-year basic research, the authors of the Project have obtained evidence of the fact that the melanin pigments entering into the composition of the phytosorbent perfectly protect biological objects against all kinds of damaging factors of the environment, such as ultraviolet and ionizing radiation, radionuclides, heavy metals, free radicals, organic toxic substances, etc. These studies have resulted in dozen’s of scientific papers and a scientific discovery (N 397) has been registered.

On the basis of these results a method has been developed for obtaining a melanin-containing sorbent from multi-ton agricultural waste. The melanin-containing phytosorbent is a new sorbent of natural origin which has no analogs in the world. It has been found that the phytosorbent is a compound complex containing melanin, lignin, cellulose and other organic compounds the combination of which determines the uniqueness of its properties, namely:

– a wide spectrum of sorption action (the ptytosorbent is capable of adsorbing and neutralizing various substances such as heavy metals, radionuclides, fats, organic solvents, cancerogens, etc.).

– high sorption indices;
– absence of toxicity;
– antiradical and antioxidant activity;
– low ash content and easy to bury.

The phytosorbent is cheap, available, it can be easily obtained in large quantities from waste of ever renewed agricultural raw materials.

From comparative analysis of scientific-technological and patent documentation it is seen that sorbents on the basis of vegetable raw materials have a number of important advantages over inorganic, animal or microbe sorbents. They are not toxic, have no allergic effects, are easy to bury, have high sorption indices, are storage stable, etc. However, there is very little information about phytosorbents in the literature because of their commercial value.

It has also been established in experiments in vivo that the phytosorbent effectively removes from the organism of animals various potentially dangerous chemical substances (mercury, cadmium, arsenic, etc.) and produces a positive effect on the growth and development of poultry, in particular, it considerably increases the intensity of immune response to vaccination against the Newcastle disease in chickens.

The foregoing points to prospective use of the new phytosorbent as a protective means for the health of man and animals. To this end, it is necessary to carry out applied investigations in accordance with the existing regulations which permit its practical use in veterinary and poultry farming.

Proceeding from the results obtained by authors, within the framework of this Project, it is suggested to develop new medicines (tablets and powder) and prophylactic means (in the form of enterosorbent and a food additive for animals) on the basis of the melanin-containing phytosorbent for protecting animals and humans against various endo- and exotoxicants.

The final goal of the Project is to improve the life quality of people living under technogenic contamination. It will be attained by putting on the market of environmental protection new products:

– enterosorbent capable of actively binding and removing from the organism heavy metals, toxic chemical substances and endotoxins for wide veterinary use at acute poisoning with chemical substances as well as for use as a profilactic means for the animal population of areas with a high level of chemical and radioactive contamination;

– food additive for use in industrial poultry farming with the aim to prevent toxicoses, increase resistance and safety of poultry and obtain ecologically clean poultry products.

Project Participants.

Since the work is interdisciplinary and will be carried out at the junction of sciences, the team of participants will include highly qualified specialists in the field of biophysics and biochemistry, physiology, toxicology, optical spectroscopy, pharmacology, veterinary, including member of the NAS of Belarus A. S. Rubanov, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences M. M. Ostrovsky, member of the Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Belarus N. N. Androsik, doctors and candidates of Chemistry, Physics and Maths, Biology, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Technique sciences. Among them are three authors of a scientific discovery, winners of the USSR and BSSR State Prizes. Project participants' qualification is confirmed by a number of publications and patents on the Project theme.

Two thirds of the specialists participating in the Project are scientists who were previously engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction, in particular, in the development of solid-propellant rocket engines, life-support systems for submarines and space vehicles, various laser systems for military purposes; scientists toxicologists, virusologists. The weapons scientists have wide experience in studying molecular mechanisms of physico-chemical and medico-biological systems with the use of original methods and technologies.

Expected results.

The following results will be obtained in the course of execution of the Project:

– the spectrum of possible applications of the phytosorbent for eliminating new types of toxic compounds will be widened;

– new original enterosorbent of vegetable origin will be developed as a medicinal means and a prophylactic means;
– a new fodder additive on the basis of the melanin-containing phytosorbent will be developed for use in industrial poultry farming.

Application for patent is planned at the end of the Project fulfilment.

Fields of application of the results of investigations:

– veterinary medicine – the use of the enterosorbent at acute poisoning with various chemical substances, exo- and endotoxicants, at bad septic states, etc.;
– areas of ecological catastrophes – as a protective means against various kinds of exotoxicants;
– areas with a high level of technogenic contamination – as a prophylactic means capable of binding and removing from the organism heavy metals, e.g. cadmium, mercury, lead, and other toxic chemical substances, etc.;
– poultry farming – for preventing toxicoses in industrial birds and obtaining ecologically clean products of poultry farm (eggs, meat).

The scientific significance of obtained results is the widening of basic knowledge in the field of studying in vitro and in vivo the sorption processes with respect to potentially dangerous chemical substances of mutagenic, cancerogenic and other effect. On the basis of the results of investigations the use of the phytosorbent will be substantiated as a sorption material in veterinary medicine.

The practical significance of the Project’s results consists in the preparations for manufacturing a new commercial product – a means for protecting the organism of people and animals against adverse environmental effects in the form of tablets, powder, food additive.

Realization of the ISTC’s objectives and tasks:

The ultimate goal of the proposed Project is to improve the life quality of people by reducing the influence of environmental contamination on man’s health. The realization of the goal within the framework of the proposed Project complies with the ISTC’s objectives and tasks in the best possible way:

– supports applied research and technology development in the field of protection of human's and animals' health from adverse environmental effects, contributing thereby to the solution of national and international problems connected with environmental protection;

– it provides an opportunity for a large group of weapons scientists from Belarus to use their knowledge and skills for peaceful purposes;
– stimulates integration of Belarusian scientists into international scientific community;
– promotes the adaptation of the Project participants to the conditions of market economy.

The countries financing the Project will have an opportunity to use technical products of the Project.

The Project’s duration will be three years. In the first two years a complex of experimental and medico-biological investigations aimed at studying the efficiency of binding by the phytosorbent potentially dangerous chemical substances will be carried out in vivo in accordance with the standards of Veterinary Bio-Pharmcologycal Council of the Republic of Belarus, as well as the influence of the phytosorbent on the physiological status and immunobiological reactivity of the organism of poultry will be investigated, the influence of the phytosorbent on the quality of products of poultry farming (eggs, meat) and farming products, too, will be studied.

These investigations will form the basis for developing and producing, in the third year, samples of commercial products: the know-how for manufacturing medicinal forms (tablet, powder) and the food additive on the basis of the melanin-containing phytosorbent.

The specialists of the Institute of Physics will carry out a work package associated with the obtaining of the phytosorbent in large quantities needed for the whole scope of investigations and with the working-out standard-technical documents. They will also conduct investigations in vitro of the sorption capacity of the phytosorbent. Medico-biological studies aimed at developing an enterosorbent and a food additive for industrial poultry farming will be made by specialists from the Institute of Experimental Veterinary Medicine. The necessity to made comprehensive studies of phytosorbent action on living organisms demands a large working efforts from supporting personnel to look after laboratory animals and birds.

Foreign collaborators:

– will participate in the discussion of obtained results and, if necessary, in the correction of the plans of investigations;

– it is planned to refine, together with collaborators interested in the Project, the spectrum of potentially dangerous chemical substances which are most topical for investigations;
– they will be able to receive scientific and technical information on the Project’s results;
– on completion of the Project joint consideration of commercial prospects of the obtained product (entherosorbent and food additive) on the market of environmental protection is desirable.

Technical approaches and methodologies.

The technical approaches and methodologies underlying the Project are based on the Project authors’ experience of many years in the field of biophysics and biochemistry, chemistry, physics, pharmacology, veterinary medicine and science, toxicology.

The Project will be developed using physico-chemical, biochemical, toxicological, physiological, immunological, serological, spectroscopic, and other methods of investigation. Medico-biological studies will be made in accordance with the instructions of Veterinary Bio-Pharmcologycal Council of the Republic of Belarus in order to obtain the permission to use the entherosorbent in industry farming. For poultry farming, the applied researches will result in obtaining of new food additive on the basis of phytosorbent. The full-scale experiment will be fulfilled at the battery farm and the materials obtained Normal;Iau?iue;will be presented to Veterinary Bio-Pharmcologycal Council of the Republic of Belarus to obtain the permission to use it at industrial poultry farming.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

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